The main difference between piping and tubing is in their intended use. Pipes can be pressure tested, and are used to convey material, whereas tubes are generally used as structural products.
Another key difference comes from how each product is measured. Because pipes typically transfer fluids or gases, the inside diameter is the most important property as it determines capacity. Pipe diameter refers to a nominal outside diameter, not actual, but the wall thickness, or schedule, of the pipe walls effect the inside diameter. The schedule and actual thickness of a pipe varies with the size of the pipe.
Extruded tubing is formed by hot extrusion through a die and is available as a seamless or structural grade product. Seamless tubing is extruded from a hollow billet on a mandrel and is the only tubular product recommended for pressure applications. Structural products are extruded through a bridge die or gangway die and contain welds that would be evident after anodizing.
Drawn tube is a seamless extruded tube that is drawn through a die to its final size. It offers smaller dimensional tolerances and thinner wall thicknesses than extruded tubing.
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